Paint gallon not match sample paint or paint chip - what to do??

Scarlett001October 3, 2012

I am now totally confused. It took me ages to finally decide on Sherwin Williams Ivoire as the colour to paint my entire house.

Thing is, the Ivoire gallon that I took home to test out (prior to the contractors coming to paint the house) does not match either the sample paint (Color-To-Go) or the paint chip. The gallon paint has lost some of the apricot undertones, and I am worried it may go on too beige or with a green undertone but it is so hard to tell. The sample paint and paint chip are pretty much a perfect match - but the gallon paint is not matching them. If anything, I expected small sample quart to not match the paint chip so this has left me totally confused.

Not sure what to do next? At first I was uncertain of the warm apricot undertones in Ivoire and then I began to like them. I am paying contractors to paint my house, so it is not like I can begin and then stop and start again if I don't like the colour. What to do next?! I am rather frustrated!!

Has anyone had this kind of experience? Like I said, if anything I thought that the gallon paint would match the paint chip better than the small sample paint. I love other photos of Ivoire online but I now have no idea that the "real" Ivoire actually is!!

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Okay, this is even stranger. I have lots of SW paint chips and sample paints at home.

The Ivoire gallon looks *more* like the Believable Buff paint chip/sample paint (same colour family, just a tad lighter) than the Ivoire paint chip/sample paint (which is is supposed to be). So it looks more like another colour!!

And I should mention that when the Ivoire was mixed up, even the store guy said that it did not look like the sample paint, so he tweaked it a bit and sent me home with it so I could assess it in the lighting at my house. Verdict is that this is not acceptable. What could have gone so wrong? Do these paint tint computers/machines ever make mistakes??

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:52AM
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p.s. I should mention that I am not comparing the paint on walls to a chip as I know things look different. I am dabbing the paint directly on the paint chips to make the comparisons, and am allowing for some minor differences and effects of sheen. Ivoire gallon just looks like an entirely different colour when dabbed on the Ivoire paint chip whereas the sample paint when dabbed on the paint chip is a perfect match - and I have multiple Ivoire paint chips at home so it is not a faulty/bad paint chip.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:46AM
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The same thing happened to me. Go back to Sherwin Williams and tell them it is not right. I am guessing it was the "tweaking" that caused the problem.

I had some paint mixed and a long time employee, who has always been extremely helpful, adjusted it a little bit because it didn't look right. When I got it on the wall it was a totally different color. She had made a tiny adjustment, but it changed it completely.

Had them redo it without the tweaking and the color was perfect.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 6:51AM
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like Jamie says, take it back. I've done a ton of painting in the 13 years we've had our house and paint companies are always getting it wrong. I've had them mix a similar sounding name (snowball instead of snowblast), accidently add too much of one tint, give me the lady's paint who was standing beside me, etc.

Also, don't think that because you have a contractor coming you can't change your mind. Tell them you are unsure and to just get a gallon to start and have them do one wall. I can never tell if I've got it right until it's on a whole wall. Remember, they are working for you.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 7:17AM
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Aha! I may be getting closer to knowing what is going on.

Found this quote from an old 2008 post on this forum: "Tester was roughly 4 parts of raw umber to 7 parts deep gold. Cashmere was around 3 32s black, 1 64 maroon and 41 32s deep gold.".

Well my Ivoire sample formula is the same as this person's quart formula. BUT my gallon formula is completely different than this formula (no maroon, which is what adds those apricot undertones). Did a bit of preliminary sleuthing and I think that what has happened is this:

Manager at a SW store told me that a few years ago, the formula for Ivoire was changed!! And my paint contractor and I talked about it and we think that they changed the gallon paint formula so Ivoire is effectively a new colour, yet the did *not* change the sample paint nor the paint chip at the same time!! This would explain why there are more apricot undertones in my sample paint/paint chip Ivoire, whereas some other new photos of Ivoire on people's houses show no hint of apricot undertones etc. but looks more like the gallon paint of Ivoire that I brought home yesterday. I also have noted that in older photos of Ivoire more apricot undertones show up. I realize that photographs can be misleading so I've never thought too much of why Ivoire looks rather different in every photo. I think that in fact there could be 2 versions of Ivoire out there - new version and old version. My contractor is going to talk about this with the sales rep to find out if this could be why the gallon paint looks like a completely different colour (or what else might have gond wrong).

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Forget that post. Ivoire formula changed but it was a decade ago so that is not the problem.

Just talked to Manager and more likely what happened is that SW Emerald paint has just been out a few months, and the translation of Ivoire for the Emerald paint has not got a good result. Eventually, when enough people recognize this for a colour, the formula will get changed in the system. But I may be one of the few people so far to attempt Ivoire in the Emerald paint or maybe know one else cares enough about "undertones" to even notice this!!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:13PM
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I would check other SW stores to see if they either have the old paint, or if they have an updated formula. I know BM stores don't all have the same formulas.

Maybe if you go to a BM store they will scan the sample and make you up a special batch, saw the paint guy at our local store make a batch of seafoam green, scanned the chip, and then tweaked the formula.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 11:53PM
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I had the same problem. The formula is the SW database is wrong. They had to call the main office or something to get the formula right. After half a day they finally got it. Would you like me to give it to you? They will remix it for you.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 6:53AM
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Caminnc - did you have this problem with the Emerald paint and also the Ivoire colour? How interesting. I would be curious to get the formula. My paint contractor was going to begin by calling the SW sales rep for our region to find out how to proceed, but it would be interesting to know what kind of formula they came up with for you. Even if they do their own colour match, it might be helpful. So please, yes, it would be great to get the formula that your people used.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:07AM
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I had the same problem with the paint not matching the paint chip. I used Interior proclassic semi-gloss which is waterborne acrylic. They didn't have the Emeral brand then. But it shouldn't matter what type it was. My DD is an interior designer and she had an 8'x 11" sheet and well as a 4'x 6' sheet and two different decks. None of them matched the paint they mixed. They couldn't understand what was going on so they called the main office and got the right formula. Would you like the formula? It is a dead on match.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 5:32PM
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SW will change the formula depending on what base you buy the gallons in. I found this out the hard way. Different bases have different formulas themselves. Then they start messing around with blacks and the color gets thrown off.

Don't you have both of the formulas printed on the quart and gallon to see what's off? You could take the gallon back and have them add a bit of umber until it's to your liking. My experience, though, is that Ivoire ends up looking yellow when painted on four walls. Not the champagne color it looks like on the wall samples or paint chips.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 5:41PM
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I have the Ivoire formula for Emerald matte on the can and it is correct according to the official recipe for Ivoire paint in a gallon (double checked). The base paint is correct too. But the gallon colour does not even resemble the paint chip or the Color-to-Go. When I discuss the mismatch gallon, I'm directly comparing the paint they gave me spread on the paint chip - and the gallon Ivore was not even close to the same colour as the paint chip. Quite truthfully, it is like a lighter version of Believable Buff - I'd accept it as a match for Believable Buff before I'd accept it as a match for Ivoire!!

In terms of how the real Ivoire looks on my walls (the paint chip/Colour-To-Go version, not the mismatched gallon paint), I have painted Ivoire on a lot of test walls, so I have a good feel for how it appears in my house - yellow with apricot undertones and I absolutely love it. This faulty Ivoire looks like a kind of muddy/murky beige-yellow - not the same colour at all.

I was flabbergasted when the gallon of Ivoire looked like an entirely different dingy beige colour - even the guy who mixed it thought it did not seem correct but he wanted me to take it home and see how it looked at home in the lighting it would be in.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:35PM
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